Sunday, June 23, 2024
DBR 2023


February 11, 2023

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Focus Verses for Today: Matthew 15:21-28

Today, we continue our study of the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus continues to perform many miracles and call out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and other teachers. Jesus rewards great faith and helps His disciples see the truth and what is to come.

Take a moment to ask God to help you understand today’s reading: Matthew 14-16. Now take a few moments to read Matthew 14-16 and contemplate what you have just read. Take some time for personal prayer with God. Let today’s journey begin!

MatthewMatthew 14-16: John the Baptist is beheaded by Herod the tetrarch, who comes to (falsely) believe that Jesus is John the Baptist returned to life! Jesus feeds the 5,000* and, after praying, returns to His disciples by walking on water. Simon Peter has a faith failure as he walks toward Jesus on the water. Pharisees and teachers of the law from Jerusalem come to Jesus, accusing the disciples of breaking tradition because they didn’t wash their hands before they ate. Jesus’ teaching on this was simple: what a man puts in his mouth does not defile him, it is what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him. Jesus feeds the 4,000.** The Pharisees and Sadducees demand a sign from Jesus of proof of who He is. Jesus replied “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (See Jonah 1:15-2:10) Jesus is referring to the three days He would be in the tomb. Peter is the first disciple to acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God. The chapter concludes with Jesus predicting His death.

Our focus verses for today:

21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
(Matthew 15:21-28, NIV)

The Israelites had foreign people who converted to Judaism living in their midst. They were Jews by faith, but not true members of God’s chosen people. They participated in all but the most sacred of the Jewish customs. Is the woman saying, “I believe Lord – I believe you, Jesus, you are the Messiah the Son of God.” Is she crying out, “I have not birthright but I have a faithright! Give me the leftovers; they are sufficient.” Was she exercising her current faith with the Messiah? Does Jesus’ response answer these questions? 28Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.” What is going on here? How is your faith expressed?

*The feeding of the 5,000 took place in Jewish territory. Jeremiah Study Bible footnote Matthew 15:32.
** The feeding of the 4,00 took place in Gentile territory. Jeremiah Study Bible footnote Matthew 15:32.

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